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Part 1 -– Source: Voice of America

I’m Barbara Klein. And I’m Bob Doughty with Explorations in VOA Special English.

A maker of luxury travel goods recently launched an advertisement campaign. Video and magazine ads show three men playing table football and laughing in a coffee shop in Madrid, Spain. They are Pele, Maradona and Zidane. Only one name identifies each of them to the world. They talk about football and life.
maker: fabricante; luxury travel goods: equipajes de alta gama; launched: lanzó; ads: avisos; table football: metegol, futbolín; identifies: identifica.

The ad has gained much attention on the Web, possibly because it captures something about one sporting event. It says: “Three exceptional journeys. One historic game.” The game may be historic. But for football glory, the World Cup must be a part of the journey.
gained: ganado, obtenido; sporting event: evento o acontecimiento deportivo; must be a part of: debe formar parte de ese viaje.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup opens Friday in South Africa. It is the first time that the world’s biggest sports event will be held in Africa. FIFA’s head, Sepp Blatter, announced the decision six years ago to cheers and celebration.
will be held: tendrá lugar; head: responsable; to cheers: ante ovaciones.

SEPP BLATTER: “The 2010 World Cup will be organized in South Africa (cheers).”

The World Cup is organized by FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. The organization was established in 1904. FIFA is based in Zurich, Switzerland. Two hundred and eight national associations are members. That is more members than the United Nations.
is based in: tiene su sede en.

FIFA’s goal is to maintain the rules of football. It holds major competitions around the world for men, women and children. FIFA makes money mainly from television and product marketing. Last year, the group received income of more than one billion dollars.
goal: objetivo; rules: reglas, normas; holds: representa a las principales; mainly: fundamentalmente; income: ingresos.

Football, called soccer in the United States, is probably the world’s most popular sport. FIFA counts about 270 million male and female players and officials worldwide. Four percent of the world’s population plays some form of football.
counts about: cuenta aproximadamente con; worldwide: en todo el mundo; four percent: cuatro por ciento; some form of: algún tipo o clase de.

Millions of players are registered with leagues and clubs. Germany has more registered players than any other country. China is now estimated to have the most total players. The United States has the most football officials. England, where the sport was born, has the most football clubs – over forty-two thousand.
leagues: ligas o alianzas; to have the most: que tiene la mayor cantidad de; was born: nació, se originó; over: más de.

Football is easy to play. All you need is a ball and open space. But at its highest level, football combines skill and physical conditioning. It has been called “the beautiful game.” And the World Cup is where the beautiful game appears at its best – and sometimes its worst.
easy to play: fácil de jugar; at its highest level: en su nivel más elevado (fútbol profesional); skill: habilidad, destreza; at its best: en su mayor lucimiento; and sometimes its worst: y a veces es el peor.

The 2010 World Cup has promised drama from the moment groups were announced last December. The competition is organized so the 32 teams play in 8 groups, each with 4 teams. Teams play their group opponents once. The top two teams in each group move on to the second stage.
promised drama: prometido dramatismo; teams: equipos; opponents: adversarios; second stage: segunda etapa.

Every World Cup has its “group of death.” This is a four-team grouping that contains three or four strong teams – all with hopes of winning it all. In 2010, Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast and North Korea share the “group of death.” Brazil has won the World Cup five times and is ranked number one by FIFA. Portugal is ranked third in the world. And Ivory Coast has one of the world’s best players, Didier Drogba.
group of death: grupo mortal o de alto riesgo; winning it all: ganar o ganar; share: comparten; ranked: clasificado.

But Ivorian fans have been watching the news carefully recently. Drogba suffered a broken arm in a game against Japan last week. He is expected to play, but it is unclear how soon. If Drogba hopes to gain fame at the World Cup, he will have to fight injury before he faces a single defender.
Ivorian fans: los simpatizantes ivorianos (o de Costa de Marfil); broken arm: fractura de brazo; he is expected to play: se espera que pueda jugar; unclear how soon: poco claro cuándo será; he will have to fight injury: tendrá que lidiar con su dolencia; he faces: de enfrentarse a; defender: jugador defensor.

One match capturing world attention will be the United States against England on Saturday, June 12th. Sixty years ago, the Americans gained their biggest World Cup victory against England in Brazil.
capturing: que habrá de captar; gained: ganaron, obtuvieron.

England is a traditional football power and won the 1966 World Cup. The team is ranked eighth in the world. It has one of the world’s best players, Wayne Rooney. But the United States is ranked fourteenth. Coach Bob Bradley believes he has a strong team.
won: ganó; ranked eighth: clasificado en octavo lugar; coach: entrenador.

BOB BRADLEY: “[We have] Guys that have been to the World Cup before and have become real good leaders, some younger players that have played key roles throughout qualifying, some new players that came in late but still bring enthusiasm. And I think as a group there’s great character and we think that’s one of our strengths.”
key roles: lugares o posiciones clave; came in late: ingresaron tarde; strengths: fortalezas.

This year’s United States team has a lot of international experience. Seven members on the team play in England. In all, nineteen play in foreign professional leagues.
professional leagues: ligas o alianzas profesionales.

Jozy Altidore has been called the United States’ biggest goal-scoring threat. But he may be slowed by an ankle injury. He is joined by three players appearing in their third World Cup. Among them is Landon Donovan. He holds the scoring and assist record for the national team. Besides England, the United States faces Slovenia and Algeria in group play.
goal-scoring threat: amenaza goleadora; ankle injury: problema en el tobillo; among them: entre ellos; he holds the scoring and assist record: tiene el récord de goles y pases decisivos; faces: enfrenta a.


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